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  1. ITV Report

Hunt underway for man suspected of fleecing £850,000 from divorcee

A suspected serial conman is on the run after allegedly romancing a divorcee and fleecing £850,000 from her life savings.

Mark Acklom, pictured in 1991, is a suspected serial conman. Credit: Mike Stephens/PA Wire

Mark Acklom, 43, is said to have left his victim financially and emotionally devastated after promising to marry her.

Avon and Somerset Police launched an investigation into Acklom in July 2013 and in June this year a European arrest warrant was issued. He is believed to be living in Spain.

Carolyn Woods, 55, alleged that he posed as an MI6 agent and conned her into "lending" him her £850,000 savings during a year-long romance in Bath, Somerset.

They met when the former public schoolboy walked into her boutique in Gloucestershire to buy a jacket and began chatting her up.

She told Sky News the con had left her "completely devastated".

He left me destitute and destroyed my life. I felt as though I had fallen in love. He told me he had never felt this way about anyone and we must get married.

I've still got the wedding dress I never wore. It was all a charade. At the time I actually wished he had killed me. I was suicidal.

– Carolyn Woods

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "We're investigating offences of fraud by false representation after a woman was conned out of £850,000 by a man she was in a relationship with.

"We continue to work with a number of organisations, including the National Crime Agency and the Spanish authorities, in order to locate and arrest Mark Acklom in connection with this ongoing fraud inquiry."